Friday, 19 July 2013

Black Stars and White Water.

We arrived in Accra a little after 5am. The flight had been short and virtually sleepless. The little sleep I did get was rudely interupted by a steward ramming the breakfast trolly in to my leg. Whatever happened to those do not disturb signs? During the decent in to Accra I strained out the window looking for any signs of what the city may be like. A few lights here, a few lights there. Nothing to distinguish it from any other city.

When I finally made it through immigration, baggage (all unscathed), customs and then bag check I was ushered towards the taxis. I needed to get accross the city to the bus station to Takaradi to meet Ebenezer. The guide book warns about being ripped of for taxis and to always go for atleast half the price they ask for. But when the produced the laminated list of prices I was tired had no fight and just wanted to get out of Accra and on to the bus. I paid the 40 Ceedis and a further 10 for carrying my baggage all of 10 yards. I couldn't care less. The drive was over an hour through the already growing Accra traffic with the driver's phone ringing about every 10 yards blaring our Peter Andre's Mysterious Girl... Worth all of the 40 ceedis alone. I made it on the first (and much more reasonably priced) bus of the day.

"What time do we leave?" I asked.

"When we are full."

TIA after all.
Busau beach

One thing that is hard to get used to is the constant friendliness of the people here. When I got on the bus I sat next to a young man called Joshua. He was 24, a marketing graduante and expecting his first baby any day. We chatted for a lot of the wait before we set off; he invited me to his house in Accra, his Grandparents in Takaradi and his Girlfriends also in Takaradi, he stopped short of proposing though. When we got underway around 7:30 a preacher started giving a sermon compete with hyms (in a mixture of Twi and English).

"What is going on?" I asked Joshua

"He is giving a sermon and then he will sell some drugs." Came the reply.

An unusual combination. The drugs the preacher was selling were claimed to cure Strokes, Asthma, Diahorrea and Women's pains (Whether this was just Women's pains in general or any specific area I do not know... I was afraid to ask). I managed to grab a few hours sleep and when I awoke the stern busy streets of Accra were replaced with lush trees and the ocean. I relaxed a little. I managed to meet Ebenezer off the bus mainly thanks to Joshua. We rammed my bags in the taxi and made our way to Busua (pronounced Booswa - Imagine a South African trying to say Bonsoir with a really bad cold).
The Okerye Tree

I dumped my stuff at the house and then Ebenezer took me round to meet basically the whole village. Ebenezer is part of Busua's royal family (technically a prince) but he doesn't like my suggestion that I call him William. We chat all the way round about football (he is a Liverpool fan - takes all sorts I soppose) to what I will  be doing when I will be there. He says I need to take a week to adjust and relax and start my volunteering next week. Which sounds like a good idea to me. He also point out that I need to slow down my speach and pronounce my name clearer - Ant Tony rather than my current An' ney (mum would be proud). I get a surf in in the evening though I am definately still finding my feet and then have beers on the beach in the evening. I stuble back to the guest house at 11pm and have to wake my Ghanian Mum, Sabina to let me in as the door is locked (a good first impression).

The next morning I wake late. Tired and hungover. I pop and Alka Seltza in my mouth and open a bag of water with my teeth before heading to breakfast (omlette and sweet Ghanian Bread). Ebenezer said he would take me around the School I will be volunteering at doing sports coaching at but with no sign of him I hit the waves. Basua beach is a fast steep beach beak where the waves rise and crash in to the shallower water. It is mainly only good at high tide so surfing has to be planned around the tides. The rest of the time I spend with fellow travellers such as Bryce, The Swiss Guys, Matthias from Austria or with Ebenezer and the others at the Okerye tree restaurant in the shade looking out over the beach.

A local catches a wave

Ebenezer found me in the afternoon where we went to look at the School (though they had now finished for the day and the Headmaster and teachers were involved in an intense game of Ghanian draughts, the rules of which escaped me) so we walked along the beach to see the catched of the day. A huge Swordfish lay on the beach that the deep sea fisherman brought in. It must have been 8ft at least. Then a quick evening surf followed by G&Ts with an unlikely group of American, Australian, Austrian and German's. We ended up in stiches at the end of the night after discussing national steroeotypes

Yesterday after our morning surf we went up to Dixcove (the next village) to have a look of the slave fort. Enterance was 3 ceedis and was accompanied by a tour from the guide. The place was moving and beautiful at the same time. A british man is currently building a resort in front of the fort... Back in british hands again...

Dixcove Fort

That's all I have time to write. I'm going to be late for my dinner (6:30 every night). I hope to update you all soon. Love to all.


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